39 Indians, abducted by IS in Iraq, are dead: Sushma

39 Indians, abducted by IS in Iraq, are dead: Sushma

What has happened?

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed the Rajya Sabha that the 39 Indians, who had been abducted in Iraq in 2014, are dead.

DNA tests helped in identification

  • Their bodies had been recovered from a mound in Badush, around 30 km from Mosul
  • The identities of the deceased were established after the bodies were exhumed from a mass grave and matched with DNA samples collected from family members in September last year.

Martyr’s Foundation of Iraq

The help of the Martyr’s Foundation, an Iraqi government-run agency, was sought to establish the identity of the deceased

Background Facts

  • The group of 40 Indian workers, mostly from Punjab, and some Bangladeshis were taken hostage by fighters of the Islamic State (IS) when the outfit captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in 2014
  • A member of the group, Harjit Masih from Gurdaspur, managed to escape to Erbil and contacted Indian authorities. He later claimed that the other hostages were taken to a jungle, lined up and shot dead. The government had then rejected his claims.
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